Wireless induction charging is the next big thing. I mean, think about it, who wouldn’t love the ability to charge a mobile device or tablet with a wireless power system. Let me reiterate that point for effect, wireless induction allows you to charge your mobile device without any wires. To charge, you simply put your device on a compatible charging pad, and the charging unit does its job.
There are many ways to use a wireless charging unit, but one of the most desired is in an automotive vehicle. It’s just more convenient to place your device on a charger and let it charge, especially when you’re driving.
Believe it or not, consumers have been outfitting their personal vehicles with wireless phone charging units for years now. They’ve been modifying their vehicles themselves though, because until now automakers have not provided any official support for the technology.
Toyota announced today that they are the first automaker to offer Qi wireless charging technology in one of their vehicles. The 2013 Toyota Avalon will include Qi wireless charging options in the higher end models.
The announcement identified that the wireless charging support will only be included in the 2013 Avalon Limited’s and Hybrid Limited’s Technology package, which is an additional $1,750 on top of the standard MSRP for the vehicle. The package includes several other unique features like a radar cruise control, precollision system, and automatic high beams. Obviously, you’ll need to make sure that you’re ready to pony up the cash for the other features too, before you pursue the related tech package.
Let’s get back to that wireless induction technology that Toyota is using. The charging pad will be located in the center console of the vehicle. In order to take advantage of the Qi wireless charger, consumers just need to own a Qi-compatible mobile device like the Nexus 4 or the Galaxy S3.
If you’re one of the unlucky folks who owns an older Android device, you can still take advantage of the Qi charging features in the new Toyota models. To do so, you’ll just need to purchase a charging sleeve for your device, which is manufactured by Energizer.
Interestingly enough, Chrysler actually announced a little earlier that a wireless charging feature would be included in the 2013 Dodge Dart, for just $200. However, there isn’t much information about Chrysler’s wireless charging option, and it’s likely that it’s not actually compatible with the Qi charging technology. If this is the case, then Toyota’s claims of offering the “World’s First Application of Qi Wireless In-Car Charging” are true.
Regardless of who was first to announce support for wireless charging technology, this is certainly fascinating news. It won’t be long now before we start seeing other automakers implementing similar features in their newer models. It’s tough to dismiss the appeal of wireless induction charging in an automotive.
I, for one, can see so many practical applications for such technology. Although, and I’m sure most of you will agree, I don’t see the allure in purchasing a full technology package just to get access to wireless charging. When you consider just how many folks have been able to modify wireless charging into their personal vehicles, it makes more sense just to save it for a DIY project.
How many of you are looking forward to Toyota’s new models? Would you be willing to purchase an additional technology package for a new vehicle if it included wireless charging? How many of you would much rather save your money and do it yourself?
Source: Toyota Newsroom